Addressing the importance of getting involved on campus and strategically navigating their academic careers, CSU Dominguez Hills’ deans, administrators, alumni and special guests joined President Willie J. Hagan during the university’s first Freshman Convocation on Sept. 5 to officially welcome the Freshman Class of 2014.
Approximately 1,000 of the university’s first-year freshmen filled the bleachers of the StubHub Center Tennis Stadium, the same location where with time, dedication and support from the university they will cross the stage to accept their diplomas. To give a flavor of commencement day, the platform party marched to the stage in full academic regalia while Pomp and Circumstances played in the arena.
The theme of graduation permeated the early afternoon ceremony. Convocation emcee Jose Solache (Class of ’06, B.A., liberal arts/Spanish), a Lynwood city councilman and CSUDH alumnus, opened the program with plenty of enthusiasm and informed the students that they now should be thinking of themselves as the Graduating Class of 2018.
“Today is not about 2014, but 2018!” he said.
President Hagan concurred, but with a little tough love he added that to become the Class of 2018 they had to work hard.
“You’re not down here yet because you haven’t earned it, but the goal is to have you down here in a short period of time,” said Hagan, referring to being on the stadium floor where he stood and where graduates sit during commencement. “They reached a milestone on the same road you are now traveling. They succeeded, and now it’s your turn…to grab this campus by the horns and enjoy all it has to offer and achieve your college education. Own your time here. Own your education. Own the foundation for your future.”
Encouraging the freshman to aim for graduation in just four years, members of the party platform offered “10 Tips for Toro Success,” as well as amusing anecdotes and lessons learned from personal and professional experiences. Offering the tips were CSUDH Provost Ellen Junn; Chris Fernandez, student body president, Associated Students, Inc.; Chardae Jenkins (Class of ’13, B.A., communications), publicity coordinator with Allied Moxy and a CSUDH alumnae; William Franklin, interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; and Chris Klein, president of the LA Galaxy.
The “10 Tips for Toro Success” were:
- Attend class and participate.
- Get to know your professors.
- Meet with your advisers regularly.
- Study and do not procrastinate.
- Explore campus resources.
- Maximize your funding opportunities.
- Get involved in student life.
- Get engaged beyond the classroom.
- Get connected.
- Read, read, read!
Students were encouraged to post about convocation on social media, which exploded with positive reviews.
Lydia Miranda Parra, aka @Princess032796, tweeted: “It was a very hot day but overall full of great useful information.”
Thanking ASI President Chris Fernandez @VeroVolts posted: “Thank you @csudh_president for the inspirational words and advice! Looking forward to joining ASI.”
Encouraged to embrace Toro Pride during convocation, students posted about their new found connection to CSUDH. Provost Junn asked students to take selfies of themselves so that they can look back four years from now and compare how far they’ve come.
Melissa Marie Hernandez (@liss_marie95) shared on Twitter, “It’s lovely to be a Toro.” An Instagram post that featured student Nikkie Nguyen (@niknaknguyen) with the Toro mascot was captioned: “Freshmen Convocation, I am TORO.”
Following convocation, students were accompanied by the Compton High School Drumline to the Academic and Student Services Resource Fair and Festival, where they enjoyed live music, food, a photo booth and much more. They also had the opportunity to chat with President Hagan and meet university faculty, staff and administrators.
Click photo for a slideshow of more images from the day.[AFG_gallery id=’8′]